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  OpenCDS - 'games accessibility central'  (Read 8201 times)
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Offline erlend_sh

Junior Devvie

Medals: 9

« Posted 2009-05-28 19:29:57 »


[size=4]Take two! (or was it five?)[/size]

What just happened? Two OpenCDS (Open Content Distribution System) developers, namely Lars "Levia" Wesselius and Sander "brainless" Bisschops have teamed up with Erlend "Sadr" S. Heggen, an open source enthusiast. OpenCDS has been stagnant for about 6 months now, never really making it past the alpha stages. With a new scope and fresh directives in the works, we hope to breathe new life into the project, bringing it not only to new heights, but entirely new playing fields.

Backlog Briefing

Like most software, OpenCDS came to existence by a need: A need to easily and quickly distribute files across a small group of developers. Soon enough, needs were substituted with ambitions and innovation: After some twists and turns, OpenCDS went 'Steam-like'. For almost six months the project has remained stagnant along with parent branches of the same project (OpenCDS was originally an offspring of the OpenFrag project). Yet another path is being trod, but what has changed is merely less strings attached.

Its old thread can still be referred to as an early proof of concept, but it's not all that valid seeing as we're now taking it back to the writingboard and keeping it there as long as we see fit.

Elevator Pitch

At its core: It's a games accessibility centre that grants you complete management over all of your installed games, unconditionally; no commitments.

Think of it as iTunes for your games. It's more than Steam, and then again not quite as much. Use it to [un]install, update, configure, organize and run every single game on your hard-drive, all from one common platform. No mandatory registration; download it for free and you may utilize and customize it to your hearts desire. oCDS can find all the games on your system, indexes them for you, and lets you decide to what degree you want to let OpenCDS manage each separate game, if at all. If you want to benefit from its administrative features such as automatic game updates and quick-configs, all it asks for are some simple install process definitions and you're good to go. And, being an application of the future and all, it is open source, naturally.

What OpenCDS will not do

  • Enforce DRM - Although OpenCDS will cater to indies distributing proprietary software as well as FOSS developers, there will be no DRM functionality.
  • Be 'the one solution' - OpenCDS won't be the exclusive solution for anything, not even associated commercial offerings. Just organize games using OpenCDS if you'd like; you won't be forced to use it for automatic updates or configuration management.
  • Be your default network - Although all social networking components are still merely conceptual, our own solutions included, we would create every component equally.

We will gladly welcome any questions you might have, but we've already made an effort to foresee some of them.

[size=4]Clairvoyant FAQ[/size]

There are other, bigger projects using the label "OpenCDS". Shouldn't maybe a renaming be considered?

Yes, OpenCDS would in all likeliness benefit from a more unique naming, but all in due time. Suggestions? For the time being you'll 'soon' be able to find us at

What is it licensed under?

That remains undetermined for the time being, but in all likeliness we'll settle for a very common open source license.

Will there be a community established for OpenCDS?

Why yes of course! But this community (and services) would cater to all independent developers. Meaning, the all-for-free type of developer would have to be cool about sharing the space with the indies who develop games in the hopes of making a modest profit.

Will OpenCDS now be a commercial project for profit?

No. OpenCDS will always remain a true FOSS and community-driven project. We will always be looking into realizing some more viable streams of revenue to make the project more sustainable, but most such plans will be kept on hold at the very least until we can see a prospering community taking shape, and never will they affect the freedom of this software.

Would OpenCDS come bundled with development-centered feature-sets?

Probably not. At its core, OpenCDS should be dead simple, acting exclusively as what it's presently called: An open content distribution system. Out-of-the-box at a more complete state, OpenCDS could organize your games, install them, uninstall them, update them and might even be able to change some of your games' settings without running it. Through extensions, literally any functionality imagined should theoretically be possible provided an able enough developer. If anyone would like to co-develop OpenCDS with us by building the development-side of it as we go along, please do get in touch! (key topics: dependency solution system, build games from source, management of shared/static libraries).

Won't you say OpenCDS has potential beyond just games? What about other types of media, and social components?

Absolutely. It will be possible to apply OpenCDS' complex networking capabilities to pretty much any media file(music, books, video), and functionality allowing social networking and integrated community features would not be far off with a few extensions and an online framework in the other end. However, if we try to be everything at once, this project would loose valuable direction. A more narrow scope should help us and the public brain-trust alike to keep our ideas confined solely to 'games'.

What do you need us for?

We need you to tell us what you want!

The key concept is there already to give us and you a fair outline of what we have imagined this project to be. This is a relatively new concept we're dealing with here however, which is why we'd like to know now, sooner rather than later, how an application of this nature could make your life easier, be it as a serious gamer, an indie enthusiast, a developer or just an avid user of media in general.

So please tell us, what do you expect from OpenCDS?
Offline erlend_sh

Junior Devvie

Medals: 9

« Reply #1 - Posted 2009-05-31 09:07:45 »

As first raised here, we've got a "best practice" predicament which the users of might be able to help us with:

In the old prototype, XML was used so third-party programs (games) could communicate various process definitions (e.g. the necessary configuration for an install or to apply an update) to OpenCDS. We welcome any suggestions you may have for an alternative solution.
Offline moogie

JGO Ninja

Medals: 16
Projects: 6
Exp: 10 years

Java games rock!

« Reply #2 - Posted 2009-05-31 22:09:59 »

Is this meant to be similar to a package system i.e. linux? or is it a "better" file system explorer?

If it is a package system, I can see that this has potential if there is enough support. however for people wanting to earn money from their games they are going to go to portals or other mechanisms.

Java4k RIP 2014
Games published by our own members! Check 'em out!
Legends of Yore - The Casual Retro Roguelike
Offline Levia

Innocent Bystander

« Reply #3 - Posted 2009-06-02 09:10:45 »

(I'm Lars, a developer for OpenCDS)

Both! We want to provide those games indeed, like a package system, we also want to make it interesting for people that want to earn money by making that possible in OpenCDS too, but that'll surely come later. These two things are both going to be 'extensions' to OpenCDS' core, being finding, listing, and managing your games (that you already have on your computer).
Offline erlend_sh

Junior Devvie

Medals: 9

« Reply #4 - Posted 2009-06-05 16:54:16 »

Just figured I'd drop by real quick and show you Lars' latest progress Smiley A lot of the content shown is already functional, while some is just sample graphics. The game info has been pulled from the TigDB. Do note that we're still prototyping, so pretty much everything is still subject to change.

Offline zammbi

JGO Coder

Medals: 4

« Reply #5 - Posted 2009-06-06 03:56:01 »

Looks really good. Hope to see it when it comes out.

Current project - Rename and Sort
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